I've been thinking about innocence lately, and its relevance to this year's dynamic autumn season. William Blake (above) had a take on innocence that has always made sense to me.... he speaks of innocence, not as naiveté, but as a primordial trust in life and in theprocessof living. Being innocent does not erase the demanding job of becoming experienced at living (I doubt the innocent in the poem above knows the unpleasant experiences that come with authorship!), but innocence is experience's natural partner.
Every so often, we need to sit with our experiences to integrate them, or to let go of the heavy clutter we've gathered along the way. At these times, innocence is a state of being that serves us like no other. It is a touchstone in periods of transition and transformation, a reminder of who we are and why we are here, and an invitation to receive help.
The Autumn Equinox suggested a powerful season that helps us shed layers of conditioning preventing us from seeing our simple and beautiful selves. This essence says, "there is a place in you where you know your simple and beautiful self. Sit there for a while. You won't regret it." That is where your wise innocence lives.
Read the printout of the essencehere. And listen here for an informal description of it:
When you're done, you might want to click on the sentence below to ask this question of your innocent self:
Daily practice:Take time to be with your innocent self, the one who knows who you are and why you are here, and who will be the first to notice the next open path. Even though your life may feel dramatic, dense, tangled, or a fog of confusion at the moment, she is not concerned. I recommend inviting your innocence to come to the surface every morning and every evening. Just invite her in and sit with her for a few minutes. (And maybe every once in a while, ask her if she has any thoughts to share on your worrisome topics!)
Love to you this fall,
p.s. When I look at the trees outside my kitchen window, I wonder if they are taking a brief respite, too. After the flurry of colour earlier this fall, and the wet, windy days stripping the leaves from their branches, maybe the trees are also doing a bit of resting and digesting, letting all things settle for winter incubation.
Image: Songs of Innocence and Experience (frontispiece and introduction), (1789), William Blake